Jazztets, Set #3, focuses on music from four different musicians, whose music has four different musical focuses. In each of the Jazztets 4 Horns sets, I strive to present pieces in diverse styles, which can be categorized as jazz by today's somewhat vague definitions. There are so many musical styles and directions that fall under the umbrella of jazz. Fortunately for the welfare of the music, that umbrella seems to get larger and larger all of the time. While this music is and should be fun to play, I also hope it encourages hornists to broaden their musical horizons into different areas of music where one might find themselves to be a little out of their comfort zone.
In this set, we have a rolling swing piece in 6/8, that actually starts with a nice, gentle groove of alternating 7/8 and 6/8. There's a beautiful, haunting ballad based on a text by James Thurber, which certainly has some sophisticated Pop leanings. Next is a heavy swinging, straight-ahead, medium-tempo blues, complete with a long saxophone style soli. The last piece is a graceful jazz waltz.
Originally, I had planned on publishing this set with the subtitle "...with a little help from my friends". However, I've had much more than just a "little" help. I would like to thank Darmon Meader, Peter Eldridge and Tom Kubis for giving me access to their wonderful compositions, which inspired me to write these arrangements so that I might share them with the horn world. i sincerely hope you enjoy these arrangements and, most importantly, have fun and don't swing too hard!
- Steve Schaughency